Nightmare Fuel: Final Fantasy XIV

  • The Ultima Weapon's entrance. You think you've beaten Garuda, but her subjects' worship makes her unbeatable. Then Gaius appears, and taunts her. She responds by forcing the captive beast men of the other primals to pray to Ifrit and Titan, and with a push from Garuda, they manifest right then and there. All three primals you have fought are in one place. Couldn't get any worse, right? But then Ultima Weapon drops in. Ifrit attacks it first... and is defeated in seconds. And is then absorbed into Ultima Weapon. It then makes short work of Titan, absorbing him too. Garuda is the only one left. Up until now, Garuda hasn't shown anything other than contempt for everything other than herself. But faced with Ultima Weapon, she expresses pure fear for the first time. But she's unable to stop the inevitable; once Ultima Weapon gets a hold of her, it crushes her head, absorbing the third primal. This thing has the power of three primals, and is in Garlean hands.
  • Tempering. Not only can a primal convert someone to their side in a burst of power — with no way to prevent, dodge, or block it, unless you have the Echo — there is no known way to reverse the process. Tempered victims are actually routinely killed off by the good guys as a result of this, because they view it as a Fate Worse Than Death and leaving them alive only serves to potentially strengthen the primal that has them under control. Worse, while tempering immediately twists loyalty to the primal, Color-Coded for Your Convenience isn't necessarily enforced. Tempered sylphs are generally identifiable by their purple coloring instead of green (although they still have the power to shapeshift so even that isn't a certain thing), but we see friendly Amalj'aa with red clothing that help new Black Mages, and tempered soldiers wearing the clothes of their country as they commit treason. The Beastmen tribe and Summoner quests only augment the horror here : *anyone* can be tempered or claim someone else to be tempered.
    • What's worse, is that's known that staying in an area that's strongly aspected in one type of aether (Such as water, of fire), often causes harmful effects. For those who cross the point of no return, if they're lucky, they'll suffer a quick death, with as little pain as possible. If they're unlucky, they'll begin suffering (painful) mutations caused by overaspecting in that Aether, which will likely kill them, just more painfully. As the Tempering process involves the Primal giving a burst of power with the aether they are attuned to, this protects them from most of the lethal affects of overaspecting, but still has it's other draw backs of causing disfigurement, mutations, and pain if the Primal so chooses. On those tempered on Ifrit, it seems the most extreme we've seen thus far is some "Tempered" enemies near Za'harak, appearing to be ashen and soot covered, with eyes as black as coals. For Leviathan's "Drowned", as seen in Sastasha (Hard), this goes as far as him inflicting pain with it, and causing those who have failed him to become more and more disfigured, replacing their heads to become more sea kin creature in appearance, such as that of a giant squid or jellyfish like, while the courtesans and serving ladies who were loyal to those pirates have been turned into lahmias (snake/fish bodied creatures) and pleading or getting enraged at the players seeing their new appearances. Let's be glad that the other Primals we've seen thus far are not as interested in Tempering the spoken races for their own reasons.
  • The hedge sculptures in Haukke Manor's courtyard. Looming humanoid figures with holes through their heads — a reminder that the lady of the house, Elizabeth Bathory by any other name, has been murdering beautiful young women and shredding their faces beyond recognition.
    • Even worse its probably based on Elizabeth Bathory a real life blood queen.
      • And then Hard mode makes it worse, when we're shown just how easy it is to turn a normal person into a demon with the Succubi turn Wood Wailers who went to clean up the place after you were last there of any remaining threats via their Demonize power. Not think back to some of the enemy names from the original Haukke manor mode... yea.
  • A great deal of The Lost City of Amdapor certainly qualifies. For anyone familiar with Nausicaš, the ruins in this dungeon bear a striking similarity to the forgotten kingdoms grown over by the toxic jungle, and you can plainly see the horrifying corruption spread far into the distance - what isn't obscured by clouds of choking spores, at any rate. Worse yet is the initial boss, a half-decayed, still-living goobue that routinely devours your fellow party members. If you don't kill it fast enough, the lifeless corpses of your comrades will be regurgitated onto the pock-marked stone flooring. And then you get to the interior of Amdapor, seeing the marvelous architecture that once made up the whole city, and discover Diabolos at the end...and then that music starts playing...
  • The previews for Tam-Tara Deepcroft (Hard) showed the final boss arena to be littered with pentagrams, runes, and the name "Avere" repeated over and over again, in Eorzean script. Avere was the name of the tank of an NPC party who shows up during the initial, main-story Tam-Tara questline. He died because his fiancee, Edda, a Conjurer, couldn't keep up on heals. She originally kept his severed head so that she could give him a burial... but, all signs point to Edda trying to resurrect him using Blood Magic.
    • Later previews showed Edda with a giant, terrifying, demonic looking head that has vaguely Ahriman-like features, except that its arms are its nerve endings.
    • Previews also showed Edda self-harming in order to power up said head. The animations for it are... unsettling.
    • Later, once you do the dungeon (and are in a party willing to read the 'Torn Folio' lore items), Edda specifically references the player character, giving an added touch of skin-crawling regret for earlier sympathies, and shades of My God, What Have I Done?
    • The ending of the quest, "Corpse Groom": After you defeat the Avere-head, Edda accidentally falls from the platform to her death. You go outside to assure her old teammate that it's all over — and he looks across the chamber to see Edda standing there looking at him with the creepiest Slasher Smile. The way Edda appears wouldn't look out of place in Fatal Frame. He promptly flees, you turn around — and she's not there. Sure, Paiyo's exaggerated facial reaction's kinda funny, but still...
    • Another terrifying thing is the way she dies. Not the fact that she fell, but the fact that she's smiling as she falls...
    • And worse? Yoshida has stated that he isn't quite finished with Edda's story, which means we haven't seen the last of her.
    • She can occasionally appear for a few seconds in any of the three main towns. One of the places she can appear is in the Acorn Orchard in New Gridania. The Acorn Orchard is a playground filled with children.
  • Midagardsormr evokes this easily. For 15 years, everyone has presumed he's been dead, and his charred body is a reminder of the first major defeat, and failure at invading Eorzea for the Garlean Empire, at the terrible cost of transforming the once beautiful river, waterfalls, and forest filled Mor Dhona into the landscape it is today. Reality, he's just been asleep for these years, quietly observing it, and calling to his followers, and children, none to happy for the actions Ishgard has taken against Dragon kind. His first act upon beginning to stir awake, is to begin calling his children to gather the Dragon Horde together to prepare for a massive assault on Ishgard. His second act, is to question the Warrior Of Light's accomplishments, while easily stripping them of Hydaelyns protective light, drains the power of the 6 elemental crystals they've gathered and forcing them into a covenant with him. Oh sure, you've still got free-will, but from here on out, The Mother Crystal isn't going to come bail your rear out of another no-win situation like she did with protecting you from Ultima, and neither is your new "friend".
    • Worse yet, because you are now somehow bound to the Guardian of Silvertear, you are by all accounts, a Heretic according to Ishgard culture. The only reason you aren't considered one, yet, is because the Scions, and Midgardsormr won't or haven't revealed this fact yet to them. If they do, the fragile alliance with the Scions, and the City-states with Ishgard WILL break and then you'll be dealing with now another faction as your enemy.
      • On the other hand, given that as of Patch 2.55 Estinien, who is similarly bound to Nidhogg, is cooperating with Ishgard against the dravanian horde, the chances of you being declared a Heretic have decreased.
    • Also, comparison between the english and japanse versions of the dialog makes it clear that according to Midgardsomer, Hydaelyn has no issue with this, and was apparently part of a pact they had previously made. Meaning the Mother Crystal is willingly forsaking you in order to let Midgardsormer test you, simply because he asked her to.
  • Nabriales fight. Up until now, you've been protected by Hydaelyn. But thanks to Midgardsormr, that's no longer the case. Additionally, unlike Lahabrea, he has no need to take things lightly on you, nor does he taunt you into risking to have to kill a friend of your own to temporarily banish him. You get to find out just how much the Ascians at this point have been holding back their true power. And despite you finding out that the Scions have had to the tool needed to call forth a massive amount of Aether all this time in their posession, it still isn't enough to destroy a trapped Ascian, who can very much so fight back even when sealed in a White Auracite gem. It takes the Heroic Sacrifice of Moenbryda to give you the extra Aether needed to destroy Nabriales. And if Midgardsormr's words are anything to consider, her's might not be the last death needed to repeat this process to other Ascians.
  • Even Hildebrand, the side story meant to be lighthearted and hilarious is not immune to this. In 2.5, we learn that Ul'dah's shady dealings even extend well into the past when the ancient nation of Belah'Dah split into Ul'Dah and Sil'Dah. Namely, Ul'Dah created "Trader's Spurn", aka, Zombiefication powder, which turns anyone struck by it, into a zombie. And they used it during their war with Sil'Dah. Then, just to Kick the Dog a little more, they set up a secret organization known as the "Arbiters", whose role was to alter the historical records to make Ul'dah look good, by blaming the creation, and use of Trader's Spurn, on Sil'Dah. The truth, when revealed, horrifies one of the Arbiters so about what's been hidden in the past, she resigns her position, and calls for reformations, if not the total removal of the Arbiters.
    • To rub more salt in the wound, those ruins you see near the Golden Bazaar and by the edges of the Sagoli Desert? That's probably what was left over during the war and the zombies you see roaming around are likely the former residents of Sil'Dah, who are now wandering aimlessly, still seeking revenge on Ul'dah (which is probably why they attack the players who wander by).
    • Additionally, we learn from Gilgamesh just how frighteningly easy it is to summon, and create a primal. It does not require any per-established "god hood" or "Saint" status with a flock of believers. it just takes Crystals, and a strong desire and prayer for any being to exist. And it takes as little as one person, with about a dozen and half crates of crystals to do so. It may not be as strong as the traditional idea of what a Primal is, but a formidable foe none the less
  • On the subject of Primals, 2.5 gives us a proper Odin Trial. And what do we learn from it? Odin is possibly not the True primal, rather his sword Zantetsuken is. And each time Odin is defeated, as Zantetsuken is immensely aetheric dense, no one gives pause to wonder why that doesn't disappear, figuring it's just an exotic metal weapon. Meanwhile, Zantetsuken just slowly gathers Aether back to itself, and forms a new wielder and body. Worse yet, it takes just any fool who wants to wield the sword it self, and touch it to be instantly tempered by it.
  • Fighting Cerberus, a 3 headed monstonsrity, in the World of Darkness is unsettling enough by itself, but once he breaks free from his chains, he gets a lot more aggressive. The beast hurls up what looks like purple vomit and standing in it makes the monster instantly rush at you and tear you to shreds for a One-Hit Kill. If you managed to get shrunk by the Gastric Juice and go in the vomit, Cerberus swallows you alive and the game actually transitions into a new "area" where you get to wander around inside the boss' stomach and it pulsates to boot. Now you're slowly taking damage (and it builds up over time) from the stomach acids and blob creatures with one too many eyeballs spawn and attack you. The only way out is to damage the stomach walls enough until you're forced out through regurgitation. During your time in the stomach, the battle music gets quieter and muffled to add to the creepy factor and you're completely separated from the alliances that are still fighting the creature from the outside.
    • Also, if Cerberus dies with people inside, he won't regurgitate. Players can use Return or wait for the game to push them out, but the first time, it's pretty jarring. Fortunately this was fixed in a hotfix shortly after 2.5's release, and the players are pushed out as soon as Cerberus dies.
  • Raubahn in 2.55's story. Up until now, Raubahn has been a fairly stoic character and can handle almost any situation pretty rationally and calmly, but 2.55 shows what happens if you push him to far. The Sultana is killed, and Raubahn is in complete grief and denial about her death. Meanwhile, Teledji Adeledji is taunting him about burying the sultana and how she must have felt gracious that someone "cut her strings." Raubahn has none of it, and proceeds to cleave Teledji in two, all while showing a glimpse of his face that almost seems demonic while he does it. He targets Lolorito next, seemingly bent on going on a murderous rampage, but gets his arm cut of Ilberd. And then, after Ilberd admits to killing the Sultana, he flies into yet another murderous rampage and lets out an inhuman roar. Even though he regains he senses and helps the Warrior of Light and the Scions escape, this drastic character shift in Raubahn is unsettling.
  • Nanamo's death scene is utterly chilling. One moment you're having a rather nice chat with the Sultana over her abdication of the throne and her plans for the future of Ul'Dah, one part of said plan being your support of Raubahn as her would-be idea for a republic roughs itself out. Then she takes a slow sip of her wine... and then it hits. Her likely last healthy heartbeat rings out as her eyes go wide, the poison taking effect as she silently chokes and reaches out to the Warrior of Light for help, before slumping over onto the floor, dead. It's absolutely jarring seeing one of the most kind hearted and unanimously good characters you've come to befriend and likely respect be murdered so gruesomely. The fact that it's the framing for a series of Wham Episodes doesn't help anything.